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Balnarring Primary School
26 June 2024
Farewell and thank-you!

To say that I will be incredibly sad to leave Balnarring Primary School at the end of this term is an understatement. When I walked in these doors 3 years ago, I had no intention of ever leaving, because I recognised what a beautiful place it is. From the natural learning environments, the high standards expected of our students and of each other but most importantly as I mentioned at our Foundation 2025 information night, the people that walk through these doors each and every day. We have the most incredibly dedicated staff who care very deeply for the students that they teach and their families. They go above and beyond to provide the best learning experiences for their students and are very passionate learners themselves.

Our students are very kind and caring and keen to learn. They are incredibly polite and often ask me how I am or thank me after I have spent some time with them. You would think this is something that happens everywhere, but it’s not.

And then there’s the community. This community supports us in so many ways and are very connected. It astounds me when I am out on yard duty at the end of a day and there are so many families playing, laughing, sometimes having a picnic or looking after each other’s children. There is a very special connection that I have never experienced before in any of the many schools that I have been part of, and probably never will again.

Anyone who know me well, knows that this was the next stepping stone in my career. The decision to leave has weighed very heavily on me but when the once in a career opportunity to start a new school from scratch came along, I had to be brave and take a chance on a new beginning. Without question, Balnarring Primary School will always hold a very special place in my heart, and I know that many things that I have learnt here will be carried through to my new school.

Rest assured, Balnarring Primary School is in very capable hands with such a dedicated, passionate and caring staff and now with a newly selected principal.

Signing off for the last time with gratitude.

Anne McDonald

Grandparents and special friends’ afternoon

It was wonderful to see our Foundation students host their grandparents and special friends on Friday. They had the opportunity to see what sort of things the students are doing in Foundation. Times and classrooms would certainly have changed since they were at school.

Wadjiny- Reconciliation Week incursion P-4

The performance from Wadijiny during Reconciliation Week was very well received by our Foundation to year 4 students. They were very engaged with the stories and language, and seeing and understanding the use of artefacts. Two highlights were students and staff learning some First Nations dancing and the lighting of the fire at the end.

Year 1 Excursion Coal Creek

Our grade 1s ventured off to see what life was like in the historical village of Coal Creek. They had the opportunity to be immersed in the goings on of the historical village. Being part of a turn of the 20th century classroom certainly provided a contrast to those of today with fountain ink pens being used, desks lined in rows and punishment meted out in the form of the cane (although certainly not for real for our students!)

Attending the general store was another highlight with many items for display depicting what would have been sold at the time.

A great time was had by all!

Story Dogs

We are incredibly lucky that we have secured the services of a Story Dog to assist some of our students with their reading. This initiative was started by one of our students in their Investigations who wrote a very persuasive letter as to why we should get them at our school. Her great idea was actioned and will be of benefit to some of our students. It just goes to show how important it is to have a voice and then follow up with action. Great things can happen!

Government Media Release Regarding English

You may have seen the recent media release from the Government with regards to changes being made to Literacy instruction.

The Minister for Education Ben Carroll announced the updated Victorian Teaching and Learning Model, which will be implemented in all government schools across the state from 2025 with explicit teaching at its core.

All students from Prep to Grade 2 will be taught using a systematic synthetic phonics approach as part of their reading programs, with a minimum of 25 minutes daily explicit teaching of phonics and phonemic awareness.

This will be a core component of a comprehensive reading program that also includes explicit teaching of oral language, phonological awareness, vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension.

Over the last two years, classroom teachers at Balnarring Primary School have received professional learning in ‘Write to Read’ which is a systematic, synthetic phonics program. So, rest assured, this is already happening at Balnarring Primary School.

Schools and teachers will be supported to implement these approaches through the provision of high-quality, practical lesson plans first in English and Mathematics, and then in Science and Design and Digital Technologies. Anne and Krysha had a preview of these lesson plans at a Principal forum and were pleased to see that they follow our current English and Maths Instructional Models.

Lyndhurst visit

In a celebration of our expertise, we had the leadership team from Lyndhurst Primary School come and visit us to see all of the fantastic work that we have been doing in phonics and maths. They came with many questions about our practice and left with so many different ideas and challenges. It is always very confirming when we have a chance to share all of the wonderful work that we do here at Balnarring Primary School.

Maths and literacy PD

Currently we have a number of teachers being trained in Leading Literacy and Leading Mathematics. These courses are designed by the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership and are led by teachers from other schools who have been highly trained. Our teachers will have the chance to build on their current knowledge of “best practice” and will bring back many ideas to share with the staff and implement in their classrooms.

The Balnarring Way

Each term we have a different focus for each of the Balnarring Way Pillars.

For Term 3 our focus is:

Caring & Respecting Ourselves – I am confident to use my voice as I learn and play

Caring & Respecting Others – I am a cooperative team member

Caring & Respecting the Environment – I am aware of our precious environment

Last Wednesday, some of our amazing Wellbeing Team presented to a room of 70 teachers about our Balnarring Way. They shared how we implement Respectful Relationships through The Balnarring Way and it sparked great interest! The way we do it here is such an authentic way of delivering content so that the students understand and live being respectful to themselves, each other and the environment.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Youth Workers

Each Wednesday, the Mornington Peninsula Youth workers have been coming to our school at lunchtimes to set up fun activities and play games with our students. This is a fun and engaging time for our students and is yet another way that we are being proactive with our student’s wellbeing.

Kind Regards

Anne McDonald
Acting Principal


Wellbeing News

The ‘Balnarring Way’ is to
. Respect and care for self
. Respect and care for others
. Respect and care for the environment


As part of Balnarring’s wellbeing values– ‘The Balnarring Way’, we will be bringing you regular updates of positive wellbeing initiatives that are happening around our school!

Our cross country program at Balnarring Primary School includes students completing at a school, district and division level. This gives the children many opportunities to display elements of The Balnarring Way. It allows them to demonstrate their resilience, their confidence, their ability to be healthy and active; its allows them to be a cooperative teammate as they encourage others, and of course they show great pride for their school as they compete. All this occurs for each student no matter which level they achieve, they all strive to do their personal best, while supporting friends and classmates.


To Celebrate World Environment Day, BEAT went planting. We walked to the Biolink and met volunteers from Landcare, Naturelinks and Bendigo Bank. We learned about what is happening in our Biolink space, planted 10 new Eucalypts,  397 grasses and did a lot of weeding. We were very busy. We then went for a learning walk, searching for fungi. We even found a Ghost Fungi that is bioluminescent and glows in the dark! Bendigo Bank gave us a lovely gift for all of our hard work.


On Wednesday the 12th of June the year 5 and 6 students had an enjoyable zoom meeting from Dr Karl, an Australian science communicator and populariser, who is known as an author and a science commentator on Australian radio, television and podcasts.  He is very famous and we were lucky to have talked to him this week.  We were able to ask him all our questions, comments and queries, which he answered in a very scientific way.  We had so much fun talking with him and even though it cut out at times we all stayed resilient.  We also did not talk while on call with Dr Karl which was the Balnarring Way!  We all gave it a red hot go while making questions to ask.  Please give a massive thank you to Miss Fawke for organizing the zoom!  Have a great week everyone!

By Beth and Liv



Supervision before school commences at 8.30 am and after school until 3.30 pm.

There is no supervision on Student Free Days.

What activities are coming up?


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